A number of alien-like skulls have been found at a 1,000 year old cemetery in Mexico. The find initially stunned researchers, however, upon closer inspection the skulls were found to be human skulls warped into strange, alien-like shapes.
It is believed that the skulls were deliberately deformed, according to a common practice in Central America in the past, whereby children's skulls would be warped as they grew. The find, however, does mean that the strange tradition was practiced much further north than initially known.
The warped skulls were found in a cemetery in a small Mexican village called Onavas. The cemetery itself was found by local residents in 1999 as they were building an irrigation canal through the area. The cemetery is now thought to be the first pre-Hispanic cemetery found in the Mexican state of Sonora.
The cemetery site contained the remains of about 25 human bodies, and it now is suggested that 13 of the 25 had deformed skulls. The 13 warped skulls were described by scientists as elongated and pointy at the back – giving an alien-like look. Of the 13, five of them also had mutilated teeth – which means the teeth were filed or ground down into various shapes.
Of the 25 people buried at the site, 17 were children aged between 5 months and 16 years of age. None of the remains had any signs of disease that could have caused the deaths, leading some to speculate that the attempted skull deformations had been the cause. In particular, the high number of children found at the cemetery also suggested the cranial deformation could have been the reason for the deaths It is believed that the deaths could have been caused by excessive force being applied against the skull.
It is thought that the skull deformities were caused by distorting the normal growth of a child's skull by applying force. It is known that in some regions people would use cloths to bind wooden boards against a child's head to influence the shape the skull grew in.
Cristina García Moreno, an archaeologist at Arizona State University, has said, "Cranial deformation has been used by different societies in the world as a ritual practice, or for distinction of status within a group or to distinguish between social groups. The reason why these individuals at El Cementerio deformed their skulls is still unknown," according to Fox News.
"The most common comment I've read from people that see the pictures of cranial deformation has been that they think that those people were 'aliens. I could say that some say that as a joke, but the interesting thing is that some do think so. Obviously we are talking about human beings, not of aliens."